For Immediate Release
December 18, 2003
State Board to release Condition of Education Report
(CHICAGO) Recognizing that a districts ability
to meet the ever increasing demands upon schools is inhibited
by limited available state and local resources, the Illinois
State Board of Education Thursday recommended that the
state tap additional revenue sources for the states
common school fund.
The recommendation is included in the boards 2003
Condition of Education Report, which addresses what Illinois
Public Schools need to meet state standards, as well as
those required under the No Child Left Behind Act. The
Board adopted the report Thursday. It will be available
in its final version next week.
If Illinois is truly dedicated to not leaving one
child behind, then we have to ask ourselves, if we dont
begin to provide schools the resources this year to meet
that goal, then when? State Superintendent of Education
Robert Schiller said.
The recommendation for tapping additional revenues was
part of the boards comprehensive review of the condition
of education in Illinois, including the state funds education.
The board further adopted principles it believes must
be used in any proposed reform of education funding, some
of which include:
- Not placing an excessive burden on any one group of
- Taxes should be fair, equitable, reasonable, and efficient,
as well broad, general and low as possible.
- Illinois must generate sufficient resources to fund
an adequate education.
Not addressing the revenue side of education would
be foolhardy, said Board Secretary Richard Sandsmark.
Districts statewide know that their revenues and
expenditures are not living in a parallel universe.
Board chair, Dr. Janet Steiner added: As a board,
our ultimate goal is to support schools in their quest
to graduate productive citizens. The state, and therefore
the Board, must address both sides of the education equation
to fulfill that goal.
The board also adopted program priorities for the FY05
recommended education budget, which include the funding
of: state mandates before other programs; programs that
provide districts financial flexibility to best meet their
local needs; and those programs that districts would not
have the means to provide otherwise.
The Condition of Education report is a snapshot of the
current face of education in Illinois, as well as a blueprint
of what is needed for continued success and greater achievement.